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Main > Indian folktales > Fairy tale "The Hermit's Daughter"

The Hermit's Daughter

He asked her where she had been; and she told him exactly what had happened, but she did not explain why she could not sleep.

13. What mistake did the queen make in her treatment of the king?

14. Do you think it is more hurtful to yourself and to others to talk too much or too little?

Chapter VIII

When the barber was shaving the king the next morning, he told him he had heard that people were saying the beautiful woman had been seen again one night, gathering herbs and muttering to herself. "They talk, my lord," said the man, "of your own name having been on her lips; and those who love and honour you are anxious for your safety. Maybe the woman is indeed a witch, who for some reason of her own will try to poison you."

Now Dridha-Varman remembered that Kadali-Garbha had left him the night before, "and perhaps," he thought, "at other times when I was asleep." He could scarcely wait until the barber had finished shaving him, so eager was he to find out the truth. He hurried to his wife's private room, but she was not there; and her ladies told him she had not been seen by them that day. This troubled him terribly, and he roused the whole palace to seek her. Messengers were soon hurrying to and fro, but not a trace of her could be found. Dridha-Varman was now quite sure that the woman the barber had talked about was Kadali-Garbha, the wife he had so loved and trusted. "Perhaps," he thought, "she has left poison in my food, and has gone away so as not to see me die." He would neither eat nor drink, and he ordered all the ladies whose duty it was to wait on the queen to be locked up till she was found. Amongst them was the wicked woman who had done all the mischief because of her jealousy of the beautiful young queen, and very much she wished she had never tried to harm her.

15. Where do you suppose the queen had gone?

16. What mistake did the king make when he heard the queen was missing?

Chapter IX

In her trouble about the loss of the king's love Kadali-Garbha longed for her father, for she felt sure he would be able to help her.

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